Celebrating the best surf song of all time

Surfin’ U.S.A. is a song by the Beach Boys from the album Surfin’ U.S.A., written by Brian Wilson. It was recorded in 1963 and released as a single on March 4, 1963. The track reached number 3 in the American billboard charts. The main voice in this song is sung by Mike Love.

In the time around 1963 Brian Wilson was associated with Judy Bowles. Her younger brother Jimmy Bowles was a passionate surfer. Wilson thought about writing a surf song and naming all known surf spots in it. “I asked Jimmy to make me a list of all the places he could think of. And by God, he didn’t forget a single one.”

Most of these places were in California, two in Hawaii and one in Australia. Check ’em out and catch a wave for me:

“Del Mar” – Del Mar, San Diego County, California
“Ventura County Line” – Ventura County, California
“Santa Cruz” – Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, California
“Trestles” – San Onofre State Park, San Diego County, California
“Australia’s Narrabeen” – Narrabeen, New South Wales
“Manhattan” – Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles County, California
“Doheny” – Doheny Beach, Dana Point, Orange County, California
“Haggerty’s” – Haggerty’s, Torrance, Los Angeles County, California
“Swami’s” – Swami’s Beach, Encinitas, San Diego County, California
“Pacific Palisades” – Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles County, California
“San Onofre” – San Onofre State Park, San Diego County, California
“Sunset” – Sunset Beach, Orange County, California
“Redondo Beach” – Redondo Beach, Los Angeles County, California
“LA” – Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
“La Jolla” – La Jolla, San Diego County, California
“Waimea Bay” – Waimea Bay, Hawaii

Have you been to any of them? Leave your opinion in the comments!

The song was released as a single in March 1963 in the USA by Capitol Records. The song reached number 3 in the charts and became the Beach Boys’ first top 10 success. The B-side Shut Down reached number 23.

In Sweden, Canada and Australia the song also reached the top 10. In England, where the Beach Boys were still completely unknown at that time, they reached rank 34.

Surfin’ U.S.A. was re-released in 1974 and reached number 36 of the charts.